Boot Camps and their Purpose

Children, once locked behind closed doors, have no voice so it is incumbent upon us to be their voice.
Isabelle Zehnder

The Coalition Against Institutionalized Child Abuse posts many horror stories of what takes place in boot camps. One of the assignments in my EDUC. 200 class was for each student to write an Annotated Bibliography on the subject of our choice. Most of my peers focused on the violence, addiction, and the crime rate of our youth today. I heard many of these future educators talk about how hopeless troubled youth were. I was appalled. Therefore, I brought to the table another point of view that many did not want to see. I focused on the crimes committed against our children.

When I found the web site, and begin to read the stories I cried. I have suffered from abuse, but I could not imagine the kind of torture these kids went through in my darkest nightmares! The injustice here reaches far beyond a few random incidents. This is a widespread tragedy. The truth is unimaginable, but it is real. The truth is that alot of the abuse in boot camps leads to death. Not many of these murders make the news. They are swept under the rug. The beating death of Martin Lee Anderson in a Florida boot camp made headlines everywhere, thanks to a video. If that video had never been found nobody would have known about the horrible murder, that took place. The ME had already declared Martin’s death to be of “natural causes.”

Animals have more rights than our children do. I cannot bare the thought of my children ever being placed in a boot camp. Death camp would be a better title for these inhumane institutions.
When asked the question, “What is going so wrong with the youth today and what can we do to improve it?” I say, ” Ask the kids and listen to what they say.” Boot camps are not the answer. In fact, they contribute to the problems.

I understand that some states have cracked down on boot camps, but we don’t need improved boot camps! We need a whole new approach and understanding of the entire situation.

Should a parent have the right to have his/her daughter kidnapped and sent to a Behavioral Modification camp, just for writing a love letter to a girl in her diary? It happened. I thought my mom was bad. Was I ever wrong. My mom was a saint compared to this lady!
I hear so much about how bad kids are today. Well with a little research into the juvenile justice system, foster care, and DSS, maybe you’ll start asking, “What in the hell is wrong with the adults today?” Yes, there is abuse inside of some family’s, but the alternative looks just as bleak! Maybe some of that money being paid to foster care families and boot camps should be spent on family counseling and rehabilitation centers.

I know there are alot of great parents, teachers, and authorities out there. I know that many of you ignore these issues because you feel it doesn’t effect you personally. However, as long as children are being abused, tortured, and murdered it is a collective tragedy. Do not ever think it could not happen to you or your kids. Tragedy doesn’t discriminate. The purpose of boot camps was supposed to be to rehabilitate troubled youth. That purpose has not been served. Just the opposite has occurred. It’s time to end this madness.

All of our children have so much potential. All of our children deserve a chance at life.
Joe Baca